General Student Complaint Procedures

Informal Complaint Procedures

It is the wish of the University to provide education and services of high quality to its students and to provide equity and harmony in the application of policies and procedures. When a student has a complaint, the University encourages resolution to be sought through informal communication with the appropriate instructor, college dean, staff member, or administrative officer who may be able to help rectify or clarify the situation before a written complaint is initiated.

Formal Complaint Procedures

This Complaint Policy does not supersede specific policies involving special cases such as grade appeals, sexual misconduct/harassment, appeal, due process, etc. that are defined in the Student Handbook, Catalog, Graduate/Adult Degree Programs Policies, or elsewhere.

Similarly, it does not supersede our financial policies which include “The Removal of Institutional Charges and Removal of Financial Aid Policies” and the financial appeals process. (See procedures for submitting a “Medical / Hardship Appeal” online on the Student Account web pages).

Lodging a Formal Student Complaint

Any currently enrolled student who wishes to lodge a formal complaint with the University must complete and submit the proper complaint form which is sent to the Student Life Office for processing. 

Criteria for submission:

If you have questions, please contact Jere Witherspoon in Student Life.


Administrative Complaint Acknowledgment

Formal student complaints will be forwarded to the administrator most immediately responsible for the area to which the complaint pertains. Generally, the administrator will send a written acknowledgment to the student within five working days of receiving the complaint indicating that:

(1) the formal complaint form has been received,

(2) the nature of the complaint, and

(3) that the student will receive a written response after deliberation within fifteen working days.

(Please note that response time may be longer over the summer or holidays or when there are extenuating circumstances, for example, if the administrator is away on vacation or for some other reason).

Copies of the written student complaint and the acknowledgment letter will be sent to the Director, Dean, Vice President, or Provost over that area.

Administrative Deliberation and Response

If the administrator to whom the complaint is forwarded determines that the nature of the complaint is beyond his/her area of supervision or expertise, the next level administrator in the area should be consulted and may be requested to respond to the student. Administrative disposition of the complaint will generally consist of an investigation into the source of the complaint, previous efforts to resolve the issue, and any contingencies that will aid in the deliberation and disposition of the problem. The responding administrator will send to the student a written statement of attempted resolution to the problem. A copy of the deliberation response will be sent to the appropriate Director, Dean, Chair, Vice President, or Provost.

All formal student complaints will be forwarded upon resolution to the Vice President for Student Life’s office where a log will be kept.

Student Appeal Process

Upon receiving a deliberation response to the written complaint, the student has the right to appeal to successive levels of administrators within the area. This appeal must be made in writing within five working days of receiving the Administrative response. In each case, the student will generally receive an acknowledgment of the appeal within five working days upon receipt of the complaint and a deliberation response within fifteen working days from the date of the acknowledgment letter. (Please note that response time may be longer over the summer or holidays or when there are extenuating circumstances, for example, if the administrator is away on vacation or for some other reason).

If you do not receive a timely response, please contact Jere Witherspoon in the Student Life Office:

Administrative Levels for Student Complaints

The appropriate office for student complaints will be as follows:

The final route of appeal beyond the offices listed above is to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the University. The appeal timeline stated above applies. The decision of the CFO will be final.


Jere Witherspoon

Jere Witherspoon

Student Care and Student Life Operations Specialist